Prize Papers Online: Atlas

Researching the Maritime Sector in Early Modern Europe and North America

Aimed at researchers and students, the Prize Papers Online: Atlas is dedicated to show the richness of the Prize Papers, considered to be one of the world’s most important maritime archives.

The British fought many naval wars, and during these wars they seized enemy ships. Documents pertaining to tens of thousands of these seized ships (“prizes”) have been preserved. Every ship's file contains at least one document in English: the interrogations by the Prize Courts of the captain and a number of other crew members of ships taken as lawful prizes.

Prize Papers Online: Atlas offers the possibility to investigate a sample of the Prize Papers’ interrogations. Providing a wide variety of information about ships and their crews, the interrogations constitute a crucial section of the Prize Paper Archive, which gives an unprecedented insight in the workings of the maritime sector during the Age of Sail.

The map tool allows you to search the data and create your own maps. The Prize Papers Online: Atlas also provides an insight in potential research possibilities. It gives some interesting background stories to individuals that can be found in the interrogations and shows examples of existing research based on the Prize Papers. A selection of high-quality scans of the original interrogations are also shown.

The website is based on two databases: Prize Papers Online (Brill) and the database created by the ESRC-funded project led by Jelle van Lottum.

The data available on Prize Papers Online: Atlas covers the period between 1775 and 1783.